Islam victorious? 3

It is a common belief among conservatives that the democracies of the West are proof against attack by hostile ideologies; cannot be damaged, let alone destroyed by them, because they can absorb them simply by allowing them free expression. This was true when the threatening ideology was Communism in the last century. Internally, no democracy was mortally harmed by Communist movements. Only formidable (though not supreme) military power, surrendered to by profoundly immoral diplomacy, delivered Eastern European countries freshly liberated from Nazism into the mailed fist of the Soviet Union.

But Communism was not an alien ideology. It was European. It was built on the same foundations that liberal democracy itself had in part been built on – an aspiration to make society fair, kind and good according to definitions inherited from Christianity. Liberal democracy discarded dogmatic orthodoxy, and welcomed secular doubt. But Communism, like Christianity itself, pursued its aspiration with the utmost arrogance, injustice and cruelty.

Now the Western democracies are under attack from a very different enemy: Islam. It shares no moral principles with liberal democracy. Despite claiming to be related to the “moral religions” of Judaism and Christianity, and despite having the word “merciful” in its description of its god, it is not a moral religion. It simply demands total submission to the god’s commandments, as they were issued through the mouth of an illiterate warlord of the 7th century. The commandments are frankly cruel and merciless.

And they are obeyed. Obedient Muslims will offer us Westerners a choice between conversion to Islam, or underdog status bought with tribute, or death. They reject freedom of speech because it allows us to criticize them and their creed. From their point of view, everything that can and must be said about the way human beings should live has been said –  by their god through the mouth of his “prophet”. It can only be repeated, never questioned. If you challenge it, if you mock it – you’ll die.

Against such an enemy, our democracies are not proof. We are losing to it. Islam is winning. We are being subjected to Islam.

From Gatestone, by Giulio Meotti:

In the summer of 2005, the Danish artist Kåre Bluitgen, when he met a journalist from the Ritzaus Bureau news agency, said he was unable to find anyone willing to illustrate his book on Mohammed, the prophet of Islam. Three illustrators he contacted, Bluitgen said, were too scared. A few months later, Bluitgen reported that he had found someone willing to illustrate his book, but only on the condition of anonymity.

Like most Danish newspapers, Jyllands-Posten decided to publish an article about Bluitgen’s case. To test the state of freedom of expression, Flemming Rose, JyllandsPosten’s cultural editor at the time, called twelve cartoonists, and offered them $160 each to draw a caricature of Mohammed. What then happened is a well-known, chilling story.

In the wave of Islamist violence against the cartoons, at least two hundred people were killed. Danish products vanished from shelves in Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen, Oman, the UAE and Lebanon. Masked gunmen stormed the offices of the European Union in Gaza and warned Danes and Norwegians to leave within 48 hours. In the Libyan city of Benghazi, protesters set fire to the Italian consulate. Political Islam understood what was being achieved and raised the stakes; the West did not.

An Islamic fatwa also forever changed Flemming Rose’s life. In an Islamic caricature, his head was put on a pike. The Taliban offered a bounty to anyone who would kill him. Rose’s office at the newspaper was repeatedly evacuated for bomb threats. And Rose’s name and face entered ISIS’s blacklist, along with that of the [subsequently] murdered editor of Charlie Hebdo, Stéphane Charbonnier.

Less known is the “white fatwa” that the journalistic class imposed on Rose. This brave Danish journalist reveals it in a recently published book, De Besatte (The Obsessed). “It is the story of how fear devours souls, friendships and the professional community,” says Rose. The book reveals how his own newspaper forced Rose to surrender.

The drama and the tragedy is that the only ones to win are the jihadists,” Flemming Rose told the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen.

The CEO of JyllandsPosten, Jørgen Ejbøl, summoned Rose to his office, and asked, “You have grandchildren, do not you think about them?”

The company that publishes his newspaper, JP/Politikens Hus, said: “It’s not about Rose, but the safety of two thousand employees.”

Jorn Mikkelsen, Rose’s former director, and the newspaper’s business heads, obliged him to sign a nine-point diktat, in which the Danish journalist accepted, among other demands, “not participating in radio and television programs”, “not attending conferences”, “not commenting on religious issues”, “not writing about the Organization of the Islamic Conference” and “not commenting on the cartoons”.

Rose signed this letter of surrender during the harshest time for the newspaper, when, in 2010-2011, there were countless attempts on his life by terrorists, and also attempts on the life of Kurt Westergaard, illustrator of a cartoon (Mohammed with a bomb in his turban) that was burned in public squares across the Arab world. Westergaard was then placed on “indefinite leave” by Jyllands-Posten “for security reasons.”

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In his book, Rose also reveals that two articles were censored by his newspaper, along with an outburst from the CEO of the company, Lars Munch: “You have to stop, you’re obsessed, on the fourth floor there are people who ask ‘can’t he stop?'”.

Rose then drew more wrath from his managers when he agreed to participate in a conference with the equally targeted Dutch parliamentarian, Geert Wilders, who at this moment is on trial in the Netherlands for “hate speech”. Rose writes:

He starts yelling at me, “Why the f*ck did you say yes to appear on stage with this terrorist target, are you stupid? Do you have a secret death wish? You have grandchildren now. Are you completely out of your mind? It’s okay if you want to die yourself, but why are you taking the company though all this?”

Jyllands-Posten also pressured Rose when he decided to write a book about the cartoons, Hymne til Friheden (Hymn to Freedom). His editor told him that the newspaper would “curb the harmful effects” of the book by keeping its publication as low-key as possible. Rose was then threatened with dismissal if he did not cancel two debates for the tenth anniversary of the Mohammed cartoons. …

After the 2015 massacre at Charlie Hebdo, Rose, no longer willing to abide by the “diktat” he was ordered to sign, resigned as the head of the foreign desk of Jyllands-Posten, and now works in the US …

Rose writes in the conclusion of his book: “I’m not obsessed with anything. The fanatics are those who want to attack us, and the possessed are my former bosses at Jyllands-Posten.”

Rose’s revelations confirm another familiar story: Jyllands-Posten‘s surrender to fear. Since 2006, each time its editors and publishers were asked if they still would have published the drawings of Mohammed, the answer has always been “no”. This response means that the editors had effectively tasked Rose with writing the newspaper for fanatics and terrorists thousands of kilometers away. Even after the January 7, 2015 massacre at the weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris, targeted precisely because it had republished the Danish cartoons, Jyllands-Posten announced that, out of fear, it would not republish the cartoons:

We have lived with the fear of a terrorist attack for nine years, and yes, that is the explanation why we do not reprint the cartoons, whether it be our own or Charlie Hebdo’s. We are also aware that we therefore bow to violence and intimidation.

Is democracy lost? The headquarters of Jyllands-Posten today has a barbed-wire fence two meters high and one kilometer long, a door with double lock (as in banks), and employees can only enter one at a time by typing in a personal code (a measure that did not protect Charlie Hebdo). Meanwhile, the former editor, Carsten Juste, has withdrawn from journalism; Kurt Westergaard lives in hiding in a fortress, and Flemming Rose, like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, fled to the United States.

Much, certainly, looks lost. “We are not living in a ‘free society’ anymore, but in a ‘fear society'”, Rose has said.

Of course, no Western democracy has tried very hard – or at all! – to resist the Islamic onslaught. Governments have invited Muslims into their countries in large numbers. And protected them from criticism.

But that appalling – and inexplicable – state of affairs may be about to change. Perhaps democracy is not lost. Perhaps now that America is about to be led by a man who does not contemplate the possibility of defeat, this most horrible of all possible enemies may be halted, repelled, and discouraged from any renewed attempt at conquest, whether by infiltration or arms, for a very long time.

We hope so.

Extreme corruption: why Hillary Clinton protected Boko Haram 1

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A Christian child – one of many thousands – burnt to death in Nigeria by Boko Haram

The Nigerian Muslim group Boko Haram (meaning “book-learning – ie Western education – is forbidden”) is as savage as ISIS, of which it has declared itself an affiliate.

While she was secretary of state, Hillary Clinton blocked all attempts to designate Boko Haram a terrorist organization. Why?

Patrick Poole writes at PJ Media:

In January 2015, I was one of the first to report on a massive massacre by Nigerian terror group Boko Haram in Borno State in northwest Nigeria, with reportedly thousands killed. Witnesses on the ground reported that bodies littered the landscape for miles as towns and villages had been burned to the ground, their populations murdered or fled.

By that time, Boko Haram had already become the most lethal terrorist organization in the world, now responsible for tens of thousands of deaths.

And yet, as Boko Haram began to ramp up its terror campaign in 2011 and 2012, Hillary Clinton obstructed the official terror designation of the group over the objections of Congress, the FBI, the CIA and the Justice Department.

Why did Hillary Clinton’s State Department drag its feet on the terror designation in the face of near unanimous opposition from the rest of the U.S. government?

A recent series of reports exposes that a close Clinton family confidante — and Hillary campaign bundler — profited from Nigeria’s lucrative oil fields. He engaged in multiple illegal deals throughout Africa.

Also, other donors to the Clinton Global Initiative are deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry.

Were they the motivation behind Hillary’s inexplicable position on Boko Haram?

As PJ Media’s Bridget Johnson has previously asked, is Boko Haram Hillary Clinton’s biggest scandal?  Why is no one in the media talking about Hillary and Boko Haram?

It is worth nothing that Congress had to drag a reluctant State Department kicking and screaming to get Boko Haram designated in November 2013, after Hillary Clinton had left office.

Hillary Clinton’s willful obstruction in the matter is easy to document:

Members of Congress discovered in 2014 that the Clinton State Department intentionally lied and downplayed the threat from Boko Haram, and worked to kill bills in both the House and the Senate calling for their designation in 2012.

As Reuters reported, the Justice Department’s National Security Division strongly urged the State Department to designate Boko Haram, but then a group of 21 American academics rallied to the State Department’s aid by sending a letter to Hillary Clinton strongly arguing against Boko Haram’s designation.

The letter offers weak arguments. Our suspicion is that it was solicited.

We also now know that the Obama administration was sitting on intelligence — obtained as a result of the Bin Laden raid — that revealed Boko Haram’s direct connection to al-Qaeda and the international terror network in 2011 and 2012. In other words, Hillary’s State Department was arguing that Boko Haram had no such connections, that it wasn’t a transnational terror threat, even though the Obama administration — and likely Clinton herself — knew that was false.

And Mindy Belz and J. C. Derrick, writing at WORLD, answers Patrick Pool’s question. They find that – yes, “donors to the Clinton Global Initiative” who are “deeply involved in Nigeria’s corrupt oil industry” were indeed “the motivation behind Hillary’s [otherwise] inexplicable position on Boko Haram”.

The attacks on Jan. 20, 2012, began not so much as an explosion but as an earthquake.

“Whole buildings were shaking,” said secondary school vice principal Danjuma Alkali. “There was so much vibration that some people collapsed from it.” When the jolts stopped, with smoke rising and fire igniting all over the city of 10 million, it became quickly apparent the Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram had pulled off the unthinkable.

In coordinated bombings at 23 separate locations in the city of Kano, including police headquarters and military barracks, the group left one of Africa’s largest cities in disarray and panic. The January attacks killed more than 185 people — Africa’s worst terrorism since the 1998 al-Qaeda attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. …

Boko Haram leader Imam Abubakar Shekau took responsibility for the Jan. 20 attacks in a video posted on YouTube …

It would be difficult for Washington to look away: Nigeria at the time was the third-largest source of U.S. crude oil imports. Further, the same day, American Greg Ock was kidnapped in Niger Delta, and Boko Haram announced “an arrangement” to kidnap 22 other Americans.

The next day, Jan. 21, the U.S. Embassy warned U.S. citizens “to review personal security measures”, and it prohibited government personnel from traveling to northern Nigeria. But tracking and cutting off the insider flow of funds propping up Boko Haram was what was needed—and the Kano attacks presented one more overwhelming reason the United States should have designated the group a Foreign Terrorist Organization, or FTO.

A strong chorus rose in Washington for FTO designation — from bipartisan members of Congress to Pentagon officials (including then-head of U.S. Africa Command, Gen. Carter Ham) to a coalition of faith-based human rights groups. At the State Department, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued to resist it and other rudimentary steps against the terror group.

Meanwhile, Boko Haram often showed up better equipped than the Nigerian military: “Boko Haram was extorting even government officials in the north, state and local officials, and certainly the military,” said an American working in the area for more than a decade, who spoke to WORLD and is not named for security reasons. “Very wealthy Muslim businessmen totally have been backing Boko Haram. There was huge money involved. Money used to purchase arms — it was crazy.”

Where were the funds and support coming from? In part from a corrupt oil industry and political leaders in the North acting as quasi-warlords. But prominently in the mix are Nigerian billionaires with criminal pasts — plus ties to Clinton political campaigns and the Clinton Foundation, the controversial charity established by Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton in 1997.

The Clintons’ long association with top suspect tycoons — and their refusal to answer questions about those associations — takes on greater significance considering the dramatic rise of Boko Haram violence while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. Did some Clinton donors stand to gain from the State Department not taking action against the Islamic terrorist group?

Perhaps the most prominent Nigerian with ties to the Clintons is Houston-based Kase Lawal. The founder of CAMAC Energy, an oil exploration and energy consortium, Lawal had a long history with Bill Clinton before becoming a “bundler” for Hillary’s 2008 presidential bid, amassing $100,000 in contributions and hosting a fundraiser in his Houston home—a 14-room, 15,264-square-foot mansion. Lawal maxed out donations to Hillary’s 2016 primary campaign, and his wife Eileen donated $50,000—the most allowed—to President Obama’s 2009 inaugural committee.

Lawal describes himself as a devout Muslim who began memorizing the Quran at age 3 while attending an Islamic school. “Religion played a very important role in our lives,” he told a reporter in 2006. “Every time you finish a chapter they kill a chicken, and if you finish the whole thing, a goat.”

Today the Houston oil exec — who retired in May as CEO but continues as chairman of the board of CAMAC, now called Erin Energy — tops the list of wealthiest Nigerians living in North America. His firm reports about $2.5 billion in annual revenue, making it one of the top private companies in the United States.

In Africa, Lawal has been at the center of multiple criminal proceedings, even operating as a fugitive. Over the last decade, he faced charges in South Africa over an illegal oil scheme along with charges in Nigeria of illegally pumping and exporting 10 million barrels of oil.

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Lawal arranged a 2011 plot to purchase 4 tons of gold from a rebel warlord, Bosco Ntaganda, linked to massacres and mass rapes. Ntaganda was on a U.S. sanctions list, meaning anyone doing business with him could face up to 20 years in prison. Lawal contacted Clinton’s State Department, and authorities in Congo released his plane and associates in the plot. He never faced charges in the United States, and he remains a commissioner for the Port Authority of Houston.

Lawal’s energy firm holds lucrative offshore oil licenses in Nigeria, as well as exploration and production licenses in Gambia, Ghana, and Kenya, where he operates in a conflict-ridden area largely controlled by Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.

The firm also has held contracts in Nigeria for crude oil lifting, or transferring oil from its collection point to refineries. Until last year, when newly elected President Muhammadu Buhari began an effort to reform the process, contracting for lifting has been awash in kickbacks, bribes, and illegal activity.

Overland lifting contracts often involve partnership with the North’s past and present governors, including those who serve as quasi-warlords with ties to Boko Haram and other militants.

Lawal’s enterprises have long been rumored to be involved in such deals, as have indigenous oil concerns like Petro Energy and Oando, Nigeria’s largest private oil and gas company, based in Lagos and headed by Adewale Tinubu, another controversial Clinton donor.

In 2014, Oando pledged 1.5 percent of that year’s pre-tax profits and 1 percent of future profits to a Clinton Global Initiative education program. This year, Adewale gained notoriety when the Panama Papers revealed he holds at least 12 shell companies, leading to suspicion of money laundering, tax evasion, and other corruption.

In 2013 Bill Clinton stood alongside Adewale’s uncle, Bola Tinubu, while attending the dedication of a massive, controversial reclamation project called Eko Atlantic. Critics call Bola Tinubu, leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress party, Nigeria’s “looter in chief”. A Nigerian documentary says that when the billionaire landowner was governor of Lagos State (1999-2007), he funneled huge amounts of state funds — up to 15 percent of annual tax revenues — to a private consulting firm in which he had controlling interest.

In the United States, where he studied and worked in the 1970s and ’80s, Tinubu is still a suspect in connection with a Chicago heroin ring he allegedly operated with his wife and three other family members. In 1993 Tinubu forfeited $460,000 to American authorities, who believe he trafficked drugs and laundered the proceeds.

About the time of the Kano bombings, a lucrative potential for new oil opened up in Nigeria’s North — precisely in the Borno State region where Boko Haram has its headquarters.

Between 2011 and 2013, the Nigerian government allocated $240 million toward oil and gas exploration in the Lake Chad Basin, a petroleum reserve stretching from western Chad across Nigeria, Niger, and Cameroon. Largely unexplored until recently, oil production hit 100,000 barrels a day in 2013 on the Chad side of the basin.

On the surface Boko Haram violence halted exploration in Nigeria. Despite the millions it was investing, Nigeria’s government geologists and technical staff fled the region in fear of their lives. Using verified incidents provided by the Nigeria-based Stefanos Foundation and other sources, WORLD documented 85 separate terrorist attacks between 2011-2016 in the Lake Chad Basin areas of Nigeria.

The attacks ranged from market bombings that killed half a dozen to the January 2015 Baga attacks, which killed an estimated 2,000, destroying Baga plus 16 other towns and displacing more than 35,000 people (while the world fixated on Paris after the Charlie Hebdo attack).

Beneath the surface … Boko Haram was making it possible for illicit operators to lay claim to the area for their own purposes, and to pump oil from Nigeria’s underground reserves to Chad. Using 3-D drilling, Chad operators can extract Nigerian oil — without violating Nigerian property rights — to sell on open markets. One benefactor of the arrangement is Ali Modu Sheriff, a leading politician in the North, Borno State governor until 2011, and an alleged sponsor of Boko Haram, who is close friends with longtime Chad President Idriss Déby.

The very terrorism that seems to be deterring oil exploration in reality can help illicit extraction, forcing residents to flee and giving cover to under-the-table oil traders. In 2015, a year when overall oil prices dipped 6 percent, Lawal’s Erin Energy stock value skyrocketed 295 percent — the best-performing oil and gas stock in the United States.

The more unstable an area is, the more such traders can control supply and pricing, explained an oil analyst who asked not to be named for security reasons: “Terrorism is the poor man’s weapons of mass destruction. You want the land and what might be beneath, not the people, so you kill them.” …

Christians are the predominant victims of Boko Haram in Borno and surrounding states. Among 85 documented attacks in a five-year period, Boko Haram killed at least 11 pastors and destroyed more than 15 churches. They also destroyed about five mosques. In all, Boko Haram and its affiliated militants have killed an estimated 6,300 people and displaced  2 million in the Lake Chad Basin area since 2011.

The 2014 kidnapping of 276 girls from a Chibok Christian school catapulted Boko Haram into the international spotlight and sparked first lady Michelle Obama’s #BringBackOurGirls social media campaign.

Hillary Clinton once again demonstrated her superhuman ability to exonerate herself from blame for something for which she was eminently responsible:  

Hillary Clinton called the mass abduction “abominable” and “an act of terrorism”. Clinton said “It really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.”

Critics argue it was Clinton herself who has led the way on U.S. indifference, spurning the standard FTO designation (issued 72 times since 1997) that could have bolstered U.S. efforts against Boko Haram years before the infamous kidnappings.

While it’s become increasingly clear that oil and corruption are fueling Boko Haram, the full story will take a serious U.S. investigation. Yet even now there is no evidence it’s happening. The Chibok girls, for example, are known to be in the Sambisa Forest with Boko Haram, but authorities have not pursued them.

“Besides military intervention, the United States has many tools for aiding Nigerian authorities. The Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control — the unit tasked with enforcing key aspects of FTO designations — purportedly doesn’t have enough staff to focus on Boko Haram financing. The administration maintains that Boko Haram raises its funding through local means, such as robbing banks and pillaging villages, even though WORLD obtained evidence the militants have access to international bank accounts.

“There has not been an investigation that has had any positive consequences,” said Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Africa subcommittee. He said he plans to convene a hearing to find out why U.S. inattention persists: “It’s time to have people come up and testify.”

How likely is it that the truth about the Clintons’ protection of Boko Haram will become known to the American public?

Will people come and testify before the House Africa subcommittee?

If they do, will they tell the truth?

If they tell the truth, will the media report what they say?

If the media report the truth, will Hillary Clinton have to answer for her part in the story?

No. Whether or not Hillary becomes president of the United States, she will remain powerful enough for the rest of her life to evade any attempt to bring her to justice, because she is the leader of the Good People, the ones who care about the underdogs of the world, the poor, the persecuted, the oppressed

Why does Obama woo Iran? 2

What will the $400 million in cash, paid illegally by Obama to ransom American hostages held by Iran, be used for and by whom?

Dan Calabrese writes at Canada Free Press:

The entity within Iran that will likely use the cash is one Obama would rather you didn’t know about:  There is principally one entity within the Iranian government that has need of untraceable funds. That entity is the Quds Force — the branch of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps focused particularly on furthering the regime’s goals world-wide by supporting and conducting terrorism.

This is the entity, for example, that was tied to the foiled plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, D.C., in 2011, as well as to the successful plot to blow up a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires in 1994.

Notably, there is a federal statute that bars the transfer of “monetary instruments” — cash or its equivalent in bearer instruments—with the intent to promote “specified unlawful activity.” That term is defined to include a crime of violence or use of an explosive against a foreign country, a category that would include terrorism.

Proving intent is always difficult, but federal law recognizes that conscious avoidance of knowledge can be enough. So, for example, the person who transfers a firearm to a known bank robber need not be told directly that the weapon will be used in a bank robbery in order to be held responsible when it is—particularly if he took steps to conceal the transfer.

As it happens, though, there is more than one reason why no one in the administration will be prosecuted for consciously avoiding knowledge of how this cash likely will be used, and thereby violating the anti-money-laundering statute — even with proof that the cash was transported in an unmarked plane. For one thing, the law applies only to transfers to or from the territory of the U.S. This transfer occurred entirely abroad.  In addition, there is a legal doctrine that bars the application of criminal statutes to government activity in furtherance of legitimate government business, unless those statutes are clearly meant to apply to such activity. So, for example, the driver of a firetruck cannot be held liable for speeding on his way to a fire.

The cash transfer here was said to have been arranged in furtherance of conducting the foreign relations of the U.S. The conduct of foreign relations is entirely an executive function. Those involved in this transfer would have the benefit of that doctrine.

So delivering a haul of cash to the mad mullahs in an unmarked plane is fine because, while illegal for anyone else to do, it’s just like the fire engine driver speeding to a fire. He has to do it! See how much the one is just like the other? …

No. The fire engine driver is an employee carrying out orders. Obama gives the orders.

The Obama Administration’s entire approach to Iran has been driven by a conceit both Obama and John Kerry share, which is the belief that the U.S. would never have gotten so crosswise with Iran if only truly great, expert diplomats had been on the job. Like, ahem, them. I will never forget Kerry’s haughty declaration about himself during the first debate with President Bush in 2004. Talking about how one deals with foreign leaders, Kerry insisted, “I know how to do this!”

Oh. Does he? All he’s done in dealing with Iran is give them everything they want in exchange for a bad and completely unenforceable deal that everyone can see will turn Iran into a nuclear power.

We’ve had problems with Iran because Iran is a terrorist state that attacks us and our allies, not because our diplomats have been too mean to the mullahs.

And now Obama and Kerry are turning a blind eye to the fact that they just bankrolled more terrorist activity. Because it takes a truly great diplomat, I guess, to understand what a great idea that is.

Yes. It seems to us most probable that Obama was less intent on freeing hostages than on getting cash to Iran. To help Iran! Because sanctions were making it hard for Iran to get hold of foreign currency. Which it needs to fund terrorism abroad.

But is Obama actually keen on getting Islamic terrorism funded? Or is he just endlessly trying to get Iran to love him? And if it is the latter – why?

Are there possible explanations we haven’t thought of?

Posted under Diplomacy, Iran, Islam, jihad, middle east, Muslims, Terrorism, United States by Jillian Becker on Saturday, August 6, 2016

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The political philosophy of the kick-back 1

Hillary Clinton will not release the texts of the speeches she made to Wall Street institutions, for fees of hundreds of thousands of dollars, while she was secretary of state.

However, an article of hers, published on November 1, 2010, in Foreign Affairs, provides a sample of what she had to say at the time.

We quote from Leading Through Civilian Power: Redefining American Diplomacy and Development by Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Today’s world is a crucible of challenges …

She is – or her ghost writers are – not good with metaphors. They obviously didn’t think about what a crucible is or how it can contain challenges, or if it could what it might do with them. The style of the whole article is pompous, dull, full of over-used and ill-thought-out phrases – not the writing of a thinker. It is the writing of a deceiver, trying to pull the wool over her reader’s eyes.

But those faults are small compared to the message she is trying to convey and its implications for US policy and action.

 … testing American leadership. Global problems, from violent extremism to worldwide recession to climate change to poverty, demand collective solutions, even as power in the world becomes more diffuse. They require effective international cooperation, even as that becomes harder to achieve. And they cannot be solved unless a nation is willing to accept the responsibility of mobilizing action. The United States is that nation.

Translation: The world must sing in perfect harmony – under the baton of the US administration, specifically Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I began my tenure as U.S. Secretary of State by stressing the need to elevate diplomacy and development alongside defense – a “smart power” approach to solving global problems. To make that approach succeed, however, U.S. civilian power must be strengthened and amplified. It must, as U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has argued in these pages, be brought into better balance with U.S. military power. In a speech last August, Gates said, “There has to be a change in attitude in the recognition of the critical role that agencies like [the] State [Department] and AID [the U.S. Agency for International Development] play . . . for them to play the leading role that I think they need to play.”

The State Department (Hillary Rodham Clinton) and USAID must play a leading role. And because President Obama is against a strong military and very much against military intervention in foreign affairs, the military must step aside and let Hillary Rodham Clinton and USAID act for America to deal with violent extremism, as well as recession, climate change, and poverty. And if you think it’s just her saying so, and you still feel the military may be best at dealing with violent extremism abroad, she has some words from the secretary of defense to back her up.

This effort is under way. Congress has already appropriated funds for 1,108 new Foreign Service and Civil Service officers to strengthen the State Department’s capacity to pursue American interests and advance American values. USAID is in the process of doubling its development staff, hiring 1,200 new Foreign Service officers with the specific skills and experience required for evolving development challenges, and is making better use of local hires at our overseas missions, who have deep knowledge of their countries. The Obama administration has begun rebuilding USAID to make it the world’s premier development organization, one that fosters long-term growth and democratic governance, includes its own research arm, shapes policy and innovation, and uses metrics to ensure that our investments are cost-effective and sound.

But we must do more. We must not only rebuild – but also rethink, reform, and recalibrate. During my years on the Senate Armed Services Committee, I saw how the Department of Defense used its Quadrennial Defense Review to align its resources, policies, and strategies for the present – and the future. No similar mechanism existed for modernizing the State Department or USAID. In July 2009, I launched the first Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), a wholesale review of the State Department and USAID to recommend how to better equip, fund, train, and organize ourselves to meet current diplomatic and development priorities and how to begin building the people, structures, processes, and resources today to address the world’s challenges in the years ahead.

The QDDR is not simply a review. It defines how to make diplomacy and development coordinated, complementary, and mutually reinforcing. It assesses what has worked in the past and what has not. And it forecasts future strategic choices and resource needs.

Although the State Department and USAID have distinct roles and missions, diplomacy and development often overlap and must work in tandem. Increasingly, global challenges call for a mix of both, requiring a more holistic approach to civilian power. …

Now recall, as an example of her “diplomacy and development overlap”, what she did in Haiti as explained in the film Hillary’s America posted immediately below. The cell-phone racket she worked in Haiti has been exposed as one where the Clinton Foundation was the link between “civilian” interests and state-provided “development aid”. The provider of the cell-phones was a crony of the Clintons. One can see how this “diplomacy and civilian development” linkage is community organizing for power and perks globally. It is an enormous over-reach of government function for the benefit of officials. It is the linking together of two activities that should be kept apart. The diplomacy is the activity of the US government, with control of tax-payers’ money; the “civilian development” is private commercial activity. If the private commerce is assisted by an “investment” of US tax-payers’ funds, for the enrichment of the CEOs of the companies involved and of the broker – who is also the secretary of state – there is a clear case of corruption. A clear case of theft from the tax-payers. “Diplomacy and development” is, in this context, a kind of oxymoron. And it encapsulates the self-contradiction of the Left: claim to be doing good using your office to dispense state aid – but profit personally from it.

Diplomacy has long been the backbone of U.S. foreign policy. It remains so today. The vast majority of my work at the State Department consists of engaging in diplomacy to address major global and regional challenges, such as confronting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, facilitating negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, enhancing stability on the Korean Peninsula, and working with other governments to bring emergency relief to Haiti. And President Barack Obama and I certainly relied on old-fashioned diplomatic elbow grease to hammer out a last-minute accord at the Copenhagen conference on climate change last December.

In annual strategic dialogues with a range of key partners – including China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa – the United States aims to deepen and broaden its relationships and to establish a stronger foundation for addressing shared problems, advancing shared interests, and managing differences. The United States is investing in strengthening global structures such as the G-20 and regional institutions such as the Organization of American States and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. This is part of a commitment to building a new global architecture of cooperation that includes not only the East and the West but also the North and the South.

To call Hillary Rodham Clinton ambitious is to understate the reach of her desires and designs. Ambition aims for the high, the distant, but the attainable. It is her ambition to become president of the United States; and – appallingly – that is a possibility. But to desire to rule the world? That is the urge of a fevered brain.

Although traditional diplomacy will always be critical to advancing the United States’ agenda, it is not enough. The State Department must expand its engagement to reach and influence wider and more diverse groups using new skills, strategies, and tools. To that end, the department is broadening the way it conceives of diplomacy as well as the roles and responsibilities of its practitioners.

Of its chief practitioner she means. Herself.

The original Foreign Service, as its name implies, consisted of people trained to manage U.S. relations with foreign states, principally through consultations with their counterparts in government. This has been the main function of U.S. ambassadors and embassies, as well as the staff at the State Department. But increasing global interconnectedness now necessitates reaching beyond governments to citizens directly …

By “citizens” she means her brother and her friends in manufacturing and mining businesses. Grateful tycoons who repay her patronage with donations to the Clinton Global Initiative. In other words, kick-backs. 

The wool-pulling continues. Now you see the cronies, now you don’t, as the noble ends are spread before you. Don’t look at the provenance of the cell-phones; look at how this state-citizen partnership will improve the world economy, cool the earth and make the seas recede, stop drug trafficking, cure disease, reduce crime, and feed the hungry:

… and broadening the U.S. foreign policy portfolio to include issues once confined to the domestic sphere, such as economic and environmental regulation, drugs and disease, organized crime, and world hunger. As those issues spill across borders, the domestic agencies addressing them must now do more of their work overseas, operating out of embassies and consulates. A U.S. ambassador in 2010 is thus responsible not only for managing civilians from the State Department and USAID but also for operating as the CEO of a multiagency mission. And he or she must also be adept at connecting with audiences outside of government, such as the private sector and civil society. …

Consider the U.S. embassy in Islamabad.

Yes. Consider it in the light of the film.

The mission includes 800 staff members; about 450 are diplomats and civil servants from the State Department, and 100 are from USAID. A large portion of the work there consists of traditional diplomacy – Foreign Service officers helping Americans traveling or doing business in the region, issuing visas, and engaging with their Pakistani civilian and military counterparts. But the U.S. ambassador there also leads civilians from 11 other federal agencies, including disaster relief and reconstruction experts helping to rebuild after last summer’s historic floods; specialists in health, energy, communications, finance, agriculture, and justice; and military personnel working with the Pakistani military to bolster Pakistani capacities and to help in the fight against violent extremists.

We do not know if any of her friends and relations made money out of last summer’s floods in Pakistan, but we have ample to reason to suspect that some did. And if so, more tokens of gratitude will have been dropped into the Clinton receptacles.

Back in Washington, my responsibility as secretary is to ensure that the Foreign Service and Civil Service personnel within the State Department and USAID are working together and with their colleagues across the federal government. The United States’ strategic dialogue with Pakistan involves ten separate working groups that bring together cabinet secretaries and experts from a range of agencies in both governments. The U.S. dialogue with India engages 22 different agencies …

See the section on India in the film below. (It starts at 44.33 minutes.) It does not support Hillary Rodham Clinton’s preferred self-image (at the time this article was written) as one who dislikes military strength. It reveals how she helped India become a nuclear power. And how she and Bill Clinton profited by it.

… and when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and I traveled to Beijing in May for the second round of the Strategic and Economic Dialogue, our delegation included civilians from over 30 agencies.

Foreign Service officers, Civil Service personnel, and local staff at the State Department and USAID form the backbone of our global engagement. By drawing on the pool of talent that already exists in U.S. federal agencies and at overseas posts, the United States can build a global civilian service of the same caliber and flexibility as the U.S. military.

So you see? She can conquer without firing a shot.

With staff members and experts from a variety of institutions – including the State Department, USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Export-Import Bank, the Department of Justice, the Department of the Treasury, the Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Peace Corps, and many others – the U.S. foreign policy apparatus must reward teamwork, promote collaboration, and support interagency rotations.

She goes on to tell a story  of Hillary the Woman of the People. As if the “civilians” she is concerned with are really the locals in dear little villages.

Engagement must go far beyond government-to-government interactions. In this information age, public opinion takes on added importance even in authoritarian states and as nonstate actors are more able to influence current events. Today, a U.S. ambassador creates ties not only with the host nation’s government but also with its people. The QDDR endorses a new public diplomacy strategy that makes public engagement every diplomat’s duty, through town-hall meetings and interviews with the media, organized outreach, events in provincial towns and smaller communities, student exchange programs, and virtual connections that bring together citizens and civic organizations. Indeed, in the twenty-first century, a diplomat is as likely to meet with a tribal elder in a rural village as a counterpart in a foreign ministry, and is as likely to wear cargo pants as a pinstriped suit. …

But he or she will meet with business people too, of course. And philanthropists. She says as much – and without missing a beat, keeping a straight face as it were, she comes directly to the cell-phones in Haiti:

We can also leverage civilian power by connecting businesses, philanthropists, and citizens’ groups with partner governments to perform tasks that governments alone cannot. Technology, in particular, provides new tools of engagement. One great success this year was a partnership forged almost overnight among U.S. and Haitian cell-phone companies, the Red Cross, social entrepreneurs, the U.S. Coast Guard, and, eventually, the U.S. Marines to create a platform that used text messaging to broadcast the locations of earthquake victims in need of rescue. The State Department also launched a program to facilitate the texting of $10 donations to the Red Cross for Haiti, which drew contributions from 31 million Americans. At the State Department and USAID, we continue to develop new ways to use the world’s 4.6 billion cell phones to improve the lives of people living in remote areas and arduous circumstances.

More profit, more and more and more, for her Irish friend who supplies the cell phones. A very grateful friend.

The article goes on (and on), but what we have quoted is all that’s needed to show what it’s about: a justification of the sort of deals described in the film. It is a long ponderous self-vaunting screed intended to make Hillary Rodham Clinton’s personal corruption look like a marvelous new way of using American power to benefit the world in a charming spirit of co-operation with ordinary people. All and only for the benefit of the people. So much nicer than an America that presides over a world order maintained by the fact of  its military might!

But what it actually displays is the deception, the venality, the corruption, the hypocrisy of the Obama administration, of Hillary Rodham Clinton personally, and of the Left in general.

Posted under Africa, corruption, Diplomacy, Haiti, Leftism, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, July 28, 2016

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The new Republicanism 0

It is more than likely now that Donald Trump will be the Republican Party’s nominee in the presidential election this November.

It is therefore very likely that the Republican platform will be what he wants it to be. And many Republicans, especially the go-along-to-get-along pillars of the Grand Old Party, most prominently its leaders in Congress, do not like what he wants. They repudiate him and his ideas. They say he is unfaithful to conservative principles and will alter long-standing Republican policies. But if their choice is between changing principles and policies to those of Trump or breaking the Party asunder by thwarting the will of the millions of voters he attracts, they will accept – are slowly coming round to  accepting – Trump and his vision for America. (While probably still planning to knock it into a more familiar and acceptable shape.)

What do his conservative Republican critics object to in particular?

In an article hostile to Donald Trump, but accepting that he is almost certain to be the Republican nominee, Linda Chavez writes at Townhall:

Trump represents a repudiation of the Republican Party’s commitment to smaller government, free trade and an internationalist foreign policy.

Let’s consider these commitments one by one, and assess how far Trump is likely to change them, and how bad the change would be.

Smaller government is certainly a cherished principle of conservative Republicanism. We list it among our core conservative ideals, along with individual freedom, a market economy, and strong defense. Regretfully we admit that government is not likely ever again to be actually small, but does Trump not say anything that suggests he would reduce the hugely overblown bureaucracy oppressing Americans now? He does. He says he will lower taxes. Lower taxes must mean some shrinking of government. And that’s probably the most any conservative Republican could do.

It’s on free trade that we have a difference of opinion with Trump. He has indicated that he would match tariff barriers with tariff barriers. We think that’s counter-productive. But it’s not enough to induce us to call Trump a wrecker of American prosperity. In fact, most of his economic thinking is likely to increase American prosperity very considerably. He would stop foreign aid unless America got something back for it. He would make those countries that want American military protection contribute to the cost of it. And he has plans for job creation which we’re inclined to trust because, as an extremely successful businessman, he has done it.

As for the Republican “internationalist foreign policy” – we’re coming to that.

Here are some points from Charles Krauthammer’s syndicated column on Trump’s recent foreign policy speech. Much as we respect Charles Krauthammer, on this rare occasion we disagree with him.

On the Republican side … foreign policy has been the subject of furious debate. To which Donald Trump has contributed significantly, much of it off-the-cuff, contradictory and confused. Hence his foreign policy speech on Wednesday. It was meant to make him appear consistent, serious and presidential. …

Its major theme, announced right at the top [was]: America First. Classically populist and invariably popular, it is nonetheless quite fraught. On the one hand, it can be meaningless — isn’t every president trying to advance American interests? …

On the other hand, America First does have a history. In 1940, when Britain was fighting for its life and Churchill was begging for U.S. help, it was the name of the group most virulently opposed to U.S. intervention. It disbanded — totally discredited — four days after Pearl Harbor. …

The irony is … it is the underlying theme of [Obama’s] foreign policy — which Trump constantly denounces as a series of disasters. Obama, like Trump, is animated by the view that we are overextended and overinvested abroad. …

Both the left and right have a long history of advocating American retreat and retrenchment. The difference is that liberals want to come home because they think we are not good enough for the world. Conservatives want to wash their hands of the world because they think the world is not good enough for us.

That’s nicely put! Our disagreements will come below.

For Obama, we are morally unworthy to act as world hegemon. Our hands are not clean. He’s gone abroad confessing our various sins — everything from the Iranian coup of 1953 to our unkind treatment of Castro’s Cuba to the ultimate blot, Hiroshima, a penitential visit to which Obama is currently considering.

Trump would be rightly appalled by such a self-indicting trip. His foreign policy stems from a proud nationalism that believes that these recalcitrant tribes and nations are unworthy of American expenditures of blood and treasure.

At least Krauthammer calls it “a proud nationalism”. Linda Chavez, in her article, likens Trump’s nationalism to disreputable [?] European nationalist groups which are better described as tribal. She seems to forget that the United States has for centuries been a melting-pot, and the American nation has been – until very recently under Obama – the least tribal in the world. And Trump’s “nationalism” is better described as patriotism. That’s what an American’s “proud nationalism” really is.

This has been the underlying view of conservative isolationism … It is not without its attractions. Trump’s version, however, is inconsistent and often contradictory. After all, he pledged to bring stability to the Middle East. How do you do that without presence, risk and expenditures (financial and military)? He attacked Obama for letting Iran become a “great power.” But doesn’t resisting that automatically imply engagement?

More incoherent still is Trump’s insistence on being unpredictable. An asset perhaps in real estate deals, but in a Hobbesian world American allies rely on American consistency, often as a matter of life or death. Yet Trump excoriated the Obama-Clinton foreign policy for losing the trust of our allies precisely because of its capriciousness. The tilt toward Iran. The red line in Syria. Canceling the Eastern European missile defense. Abandoning Hosni Mubarak.

Trump’s scripted, telepromptered speech was intended to finally clarify his foreign policy. It produced instead a jumble. The basic principle seems to be this: Continue the inexorable Obama-Clinton retreat, though for reasons of national self-interest, rather than of national self-doubt. And except when, with studied inconsistency, he decides otherwise.

Is Trump’s patriotism a “version of isolationism”?  Is it “inconsistent and often contradictory”? By “unpredictable” did he mean what Krauthammer is taking his words to mean?

What did Trump actually say?

We quote his speech in part (find all of it here):

America first will be the major and overriding theme of my administration. But to chart our path forward, we must first briefly take a look back. We have a lot to be proud of.

In the 1940s we saved the world. The greatest generation beat back the Nazis and Japanese imperialists. Then we saved the world again. This time, from totalitarianism and communism. The Cold War lasted for decades but, guess what, we won and we won big. …

Does he regret those American involvements? Not at all. He is proud of them.

Unfortunately, after the Cold War our foreign policy veered badly off course. We failed to develop a new vision for a new time. In fact, as time went on, our foreign policy began to make less and less sense. … We went from mistakes in Iraq to Egypt to Libya, to President Obama’s line in the sand in Syria. Each of these actions have helped to throw the region into chaos and gave ISIS the space it needs to grow and prosper. Very bad. It all began with a dangerous idea that we could make western democracies out of countries that had no experience or interests in becoming a western democracy.

With that we could not agree more strongly. It is not possible to turn states like Iraq and Afghanistan – Arab states, Islamic states – into Western style democracies.

And as for his comment on Obama’s actions – they have been “unpredictable” in that they make no logical sense. Krauthammer chooses them as examples of unpredictability to condemn Trump’s recommendation of it, when in fact Trump means something entirely different – as we shall see.

We tore up what institutions they had and then were surprised at what we unleashed. Civil war, religious fanaticism, thousands of Americans and just killed be lives, lives, lives wasted. Horribly wasted. Many trillions of dollars were lost as a result. The vacuum was created that ISIS would fill. Iran, too, would rush in and fill that void much to their really unjust enrichment.

They have benefited so much, so sadly, for us. Our foreign policy is a complete and total disaster. No vision. No purpose. No direction. No strategy.

Trump goes on to “identify weaknesses in our foreign policy” and to say how he would fix them. Among them (they are worth reading in full) is this:

We’ve had a president who dislikes our friends and bows to our enemies, something that we’ve never seen before in the history of our country. He negotiated a disastrous deal with Iran, and then we watched them ignore its terms even before the ink was dry. Iran cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon, cannot be allowed. Remember that, cannot be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. And under a Trump administration, will never, ever be allowed to have that nuclear weapon …

At the end of his analysis and outline of his intentions he promises:

 This will all change when I become president.

To our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be reliable again. It’s going to be a great and reliable ally again. It’s going to be a friend again. We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.

Does that sound isolationist?

We need a long-term plan to halt the spread and reach of radical Islam.Containing the spread of radical Islam must be a major foreign policy goal of the United States and indeed the world. Events may require the use of military force, but it’s also a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.

Absolutely right! And no other politician, as far as we can recall, has said it before.

He goes on to speak of “working very closely with our allies in the Muslim world”, which is one of the few points on which we disagree. There can be no such thing as an American ally in the Muslim world, precisely because “the philosophical struggle” prohibits it. Islam is ideologically opposed to the West.

… And then there’s ISIS. I have a simple message for them. Their days are numbered. I won’t tell them where and I won’t tell them how. We must as a nation be more unpredictable. We are totally predictable. We tell everything. We’re sending troops. We tell them. We’re sending something else. We have a news conference. We have to be unpredictable. And we have to be unpredictable starting now. But they’re going to be gone. ISIS will be gone if I’m elected president. And they’ll be gone quickly. They will be gone very, very quickly.

So that is what Trump means by “unpredicatble”. A commander-in-chief does not announce to his country’s enemy just when its army will stop fighting and when he will withdraw his troops – as Obama has done. It is a military absurdity!

He goes on to say “we have to rebuild our military and our economy”.

The Russians and Chinese have rapidly expanded their military capability, but look at what’s happened to us. Our nuclear weapons arsenal, our ultimate deterrent, has been allowed to atrophy and is desperately in need of modernization and renewal. And it has to happen immediately. Our active duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today. The Navy has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during this same period of time. The Air Force is about one-third smaller than 1991. Pilots flying B-52s in combat missions today. These planes are older than virtually everybody in this room.

And what are we doing about this? President Obama has proposed a 2017 defense budget that in real dollars, cuts nearly 25 percent from what we were spending in 2011. Our military is depleted and we’re asking our generals and military leaders to worry about global warming.

We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest, single investment we can make. We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned, and I mean unquestioned, by anybody and everybody.

Does that sound “isolationist”?

But we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, right now we have so much debt that nobody even knows how to address the problem. But I do. No one dollar can be wasted. Not one single dollar can we waste. We’re also going to have to change our trade, immigration and economic policies to make our economy strong again. And to put Americans first again.

But, he says …

I believe an easing of tensions, and improved relations with Russia from a position of strength only is possible, absolutely possible. Common sense says this cycle, this horrible cycle of hostility must end and ideally will end soon. Good for both countries.

Some say the Russians won’t be reasonable. I intend to find out. If we can’t make a deal under my administration, a deal that’s great — not good, great — for America, but also good for Russia, then we will quickly walk from the table. It’s as simple as that. We’re going to find out.

Fixing our relations with China is another important step — and really toward creating an even more prosperous period of time. China respects strength and by letting them take advantage of us economically, which they are doing like never before, we have lost all of their respect.

We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit that we have to find a way quickly, and I mean quickly, to balance. A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China, better than we have right now. Look at what China is doing in the South China Sea. They’re not supposed to be doing it. …

To be militarily strong again, and at the same time try to negotiate better relations with an aggressive Russia and China – is that “contradictory” or is it speaking softly while carrying a big stick? 

I will not hesitate to deploy military force when there is no alternative. But if America fights, it must only fight to win. …

Our power will be used if others do not play by the rules. In other words, if they do not treat us fairly. Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce that line in the sand. Believe me.

My goal is to establish a foreign policy that will endure for several generations. That’s why I also look and have to look for talented experts with approaches and practical ideas … We have to look to new people because many of the old people frankly don’t know what they’re doing

No country has ever prospered that failed to put its own interests first. Both our friends and our enemies put their countries above ours and we, while being fair to them, must start doing the same. We will no longer surrender this country or its people to the false song of globalism. The nation-state remains the true foundation for happiness and harmony.  I am skeptical of international unions  … And under my administration, we will never enter America into any agreement that reduces our ability to control our own affairs. …

I will view as president the world through the clear lens of American interests. I will be America’s greatest defender and most loyal champion. …

The world is most peaceful and most prosperous when America is strongest. America will continue and continue forever to play the role of peacemaker. We will always help save lives and indeed humanity itself, but to play the role, we must make America strong again. … We have to and we will make America great again.

Where are the alleged “inconsistencies”? Where is the “jumble”. (We urge doubters to read the whole speech and tell us if they find any inconsistencies or contradictions that we have overlooked.)

The speech as a whole could be taken as a manifesto of the new Republicanism – what the Republican Party will stand for under the leadership of Donald Trump. He will take the Party forward, but not in the direction it has long wanted to go. It wanted to go, but did not move. He will make both good and bad decisions, as leaders generally do. But he will make them in the interests of a strong and prosperous America, and that is an America that is good for the world.

The end of national sovereignty 5

The EU – the European Union – is not a democracy. It has a parliament, and people are elected to it by the citizens of the member states, but it has no real power of decision. Members of the European Parliament talk there. Nobody listens. Not even their fellow MEPs.

Unelected bureaucrats decide what the 503 million people of Europe may do, eat, use, buy, sell, and say, and not do, eat, use, buy, sell, and say. In finicky detail. (See for example here and here.)

The bureaucrats compose the Commission. The president of the Commission is appointed by the Council and he appoints the other 27 members.

The Council is composed of the heads of the governments of the member states and the President of the Commission whom they have appointed.

The EU Commission – 28 unelected officials – exercises dictatorial power, and has dictated that Europe shall be terminated; and that slowly – over about three more generations – the continent will become part of the Ummah, the world unity of Muslims, governed by Sharia, Islam’s legal system inseparable from the religion. To this end, the EU is importing millions of Muslims (often under the courtesy name of “refugees”), who will have large families as multiple wives each bear many children.

The Commission’s writ does not officially run in Western countries outside the EU; but this momentous decision, a turning point in the history of mankind, is apparently approved of and being emulated by the political leadership of most Western states, notably Canada, Australia, and even the United States of America.

Or is there a conspiracy among all Western leaders to Islamize their world?

The Big Question is WHY? 

John Griffing writes at American Thinker:

Europe is on fire, in a social and financial crisis of its leaders’ own making. Its public places are now spectacles of the obscene, and its women are sexual objects for a predatory race of invaders. Its social systems are stretched to the breaking point by belligerent “refugees” who are devouring their host countries at will, while Europe’s leaders defend the invaders and blame their own citizens.

Western civilization is under attack, and rational citizens are at a loss to understand why their leaders are allowing the destruction of their societies.

Much has been written about the outrageous acts that have been committed by Muslim migrants, so we need not repeat them here. We can simply agree that the situation in Europe is disastrous, and it’s getting worse. And America is not far behind.

Western leaders are aiding and abetting this insanity with a consistency and single-mindedness of purpose that can only be explained in one way: they must think they have something to gain from the chaos created by this crisis.

What other conclusion can be drawn from the brazen ascendancy of Islam in the western world, and the deafening silence that permits its success?  Clearly, Western leaders think they can use Islam for their own ends, to consolidate their own power.

Whether their motivations are globalist, nationalist, pro-Islam, or merely megalomaniacal, they all seem to hold one belief in common: the belief that they can control Muslim migration to create the chaos necessary to justify their predetermined solutions. …

But they are dangerously underestimating those they presume to use as pawns. …

Islam is now controlling most of Europe, either actively, or passively, due to the absence of any response from local governing authorities – a curious void of law and order. …

Unless Europeans and Americans rise up now to reverse this trend, one of two things will occur. Either those in power will succeed in using this crisis to advance their aims and fundamentally transform their societies, or, more likely, Islam will become dominant in the West past the point of no return.

If those two occurrences are distinguishable from each other.

“The Moors” have come home. The Muslim horde hastily imported into Europe over the cries and screams of voters are living up to the archetypes people in the West have come to fear, especially when cartoons result in lynch-mobs, and when a woman clothed according to western custom is mercilessly raped by “migrants”. …

A majority of Muslims living in Britain say they want full Sharia law, a separate Muslim police force, and death for anyone who speaks against Mohammed.  The same survey revealed a majority percentage also favor terrorist attacks against Britain and the United States.  51 percent of American Muslims also say they want Shariah and the US government to become Islamic.

The Netherlands openly advocates placing Shariah – the desert law which commands death for adulterers, death for gambling, death for leaving the faith (or having no faith), and death for homosexuals – on the ballot.

German courts are already enforcing Shariah when requested, and the impetus for this golden nugget originated in Nuremburg.

France has over 751 “no-go zones”, i.e. areas of land ruled by Islamic law and totally unrecognizable as French.

And where French law is not enforced, the police being afraid to enter them.

This was verified again after the recent French attacks.

The British already have actual Shariah courts in operation all over the United Kingdom.  These “courts” are chaired by a man who thinks amputation for petty crimes is a great idea, something he wants to “offer British society”.

Americans and Europeans need to stop acting surprised when Muslims behave like Muslims.  They are acting according to what the Qur’an says to do. It’s there in plain sight for anyone to read. And its ultimate aim is conquest and complete domination of any other culture but Islam. …

Not only is history repeating, but it is repeating on a crash timetable, and with the perverse backing of the host countries destined to be remade in the image of Islamic hegemony.

Why would any true German, Frenchman or Briton cooperate in their own organized destruction if there were not some goal or elusive purpose to be accomplished by the ever less accountable and more distant governments that make such decisions?

It would only be logical to deduce that French leaders, German leaders and British leaders have determined that there is an acceptable cost to property and lives if the chaos resulting from the indiscriminate welcoming of new migrant hoards can be directed towards an unspoken goal.  This is not out of left field.  Angela Merkel calling her own people “neo-Nazis” and turning water cannons on her own citizens is indicative.

Amazingly, this mindset is evident in every recent action to open the borders of Europe and America to their new visitors.

Controlled chaos is the desired result.

We underestimate the depravity of Western leaders if we think the lives of American and European citizens mean anything more to them than plot points in a narrative, one leading inevitably to the end of national sovereignty.

There’s chaos all right, but where’s the control?

What is that “goal or elusive purpose to be accomplished by the ever less accountable governments”? 

Is it something beyond the destruction of their own nations? Of their continent? Of Western civilization?

Is it some earthly paradise that can only arise out of submission to Islam and Sharia law?

A vision that they alone – the political deciders and dictators who will  not explain their plan – can see?

Is that hellish path the only way to it?

If so, it would be good to be told what it is, and how it will come about, and when.

Or else there is no answer at all to WHY.   

Political gestures 1

A social worker named Wendy Sherman was employed by President Clinton to negotiate the 1999 non-proliferation nuclear arms deal between the US and the hereditary dictator of North Korea, Kim Jong-il.

The Obama administration was so pleased with her achievement that they got her to negotiate a similar deal between the US and Iran in 2015.

Neither the Iranian rulers nor the present North Korean hereditary dictator Kim Jong-un have any intention of abiding by the terms of their respective “deals”.

CNN reports:

North Korea has successfully launched a satellite into space, its state-run TV said …

Carrier rocket Kwangmyongsong blasted off from the Sohae Space Center at 9 a.m Sunday local time …

U.S. officials have said the same type of rocket used to launch today’s satellite could deliver a nuclear warhead. …

According to multiple experts, North Korea has at least a dozen and perhaps as many as 100 nuclear weapons, though at present it lacks sophisticated delivery mechanisms.

Or did, until now.

The Daily Beast reports:

Nuclear nonproliferation experts agree: Obama, they claim, is responsible for the failure of America to prevent North Korea from expanding its nuclear program. …

The Obama administration concept of ‘strategic patience’ emerged early on in the administration after the scathing experience of North Korea’s 2009 nuclear test. The strategy essentially demanded that North Koreans recommit to concrete steps towards denuclearization — such as allowing inspectors and freezing fissile material production — as a precondition of any future talks. …

It is a strategy that has proven to be a failure, given the most recent nuclear test. North Korea has simply accepted sanctions and international isolation as the cost of a slow and steady expansion of its nuclear weapons program. …

By demanding that North Koreans take denuclearization steps before talks that would focus on denuclearization, it put the onus for talks on the authoritarian state, thereby buying them time to creep towards strengthening its nuclear arsenal.

“Given that North Korea equates its nuclear weapons with the survivability of its regime, it is extremely unlikely that Pyongyang will take steps toward denuclearization absent assurances of the state’s security,” said Kelsey Davenport, director for nonproliferation policy at the Arms Control Association. “The overthrow of Qadhafi, several years after Libya gave up its nuclear program, likely increased North Korea’s concerns that absent a nuclear deterrent, its regime would be at risk.”  …

So when presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio says that “North Korea is run by a lunatic who has been expanding his nuclear arsenal while President Obama stood idly by”, and Jeb Bush blamed the “Obama Clinton foreign policy”, they’re on the mark.

One thing is for sure: North Korea’s nuclear program has dramatically expanded over the past decade — during the course of the Obama administration — and the threat is now greater than it has ever been.

Well meaning, good-doing ladies like Wendy Sherman are indispensable to modern politics, especially to a sentimental foreign policy.

They are Mistresses of the Empty Gesture.

The mysteries of Benghazi 5

Among the many still unanswered question about the tragedy of Benghazi, these stand out above all others:

Why were “more than 600” requests from Ambassador Stevens for better security for the US mission in Benghazi not granted?

Whether or not they “reached” Hillary Clinton’s desk – and she denies that any of them did – the question why better security was not granted has never been answered.

What could the reason be?

And why was Ambassador Stephens then sent to the insecure mission in Benghazi on the specially dangerous anniversary day of 9/11/12?

On the face of it, it looks as if the State Department was party to a planned assassination of its own ambassador.

But why would it want that?

Al-Qaeda’s hackers of Hillary Clinton’s easily-hacked emails would have known what Hillary Clinton’s game in Benghazi was. But the American people she was paid to serve do not.

Everyone outside of the Obama conspiracy can only conjecture.

So possible answers to the questions are invited.

A hell-hag as leader and role model? 2

hillary_clinton_6

Who is the woman whom millions of Americans would vote for to become the first woman president of the United States? What sort of woman is she? What has she done? What does she stand for? What sort of model would she be for rising generations of Americans?

Is she a person of model character? No. She is an habitual liar (see here and here), a conniver and plotter; arrogant, corrupt, and vicious and cruel.

Is she a person who has achieved great things? No. Her only achievements have been catastrophes, bringing incalculable suffering upon millions of people who live their precarious lives in frail societies, most notably in Libya, where she brought unending chaos; in Nigeria, where she actively encouraged Boko Haram, the butchers of untold numbers of defenseless Christians; in Egypt, where she did all she could (but fortunately failed) to keep the tyrannical Muslim Brotherhood in power; in Iran, where she has helped Obama strengthen the oppressive dictatorship of the Ayatollahs.

Is she a woman of ideas? Does she at least associate herself with a political philosophy that promotes freedom, openness, tolerance? No. She has not articulated a single original political idea. And far from promoting freedom, openness and tolerance, she has actively worked with Islamic enemies of America to shut down free speech.

Is she clever? No. Cunning, yes, she is. But she lives in a sort of mental glass house in which she is forever throwing stones. Apparently oblivious to the facts of her own life, she denounces the very people and activities that support her political existence. It is a kind of blind, blundering stupidity.

Or call it “cognitive dissonance”. Examples of it are given by Victor Davis Hanson, who writes at Townhall:

Hillary Clinton recently said she would go after offshore tax “schemes” in the Caribbean. …

Yet her husband, Bill Clinton, reportedly made $10 million as an advisor and an occasional partner in the Yucaipa Global Partnership, a fund registered in the Cayman Islands.

Is Ms. Clinton’s implicit argument that she knows offshore tax dodging is unethical because her family has benefitted from it? Does she plan to return millions of dollars of her family’s offshore-generated income?

Clinton is calling for “huge campaign finance reform,” apparently to end the excessive and often pernicious role of big money in politics. But no candidate, Republican or Democrat, raised more than the $112 million that Clinton collected in 2015 for her primary campaign.

In 2013, Clinton earned nearly $1.6 million in speaking fees from Wall Street banks. She raked in $675,000 from Goldman Sachs, and $225,000 apiece from Bank of America, Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and UBS Wealth Management. Did that profiteering finally make Clinton sour on Wall Street’s pay-for-play ethics?

Clinton has also vowed to raise taxes on hedge fund managers. Is that a way of expressing displeasure with her son-in-law, Marc Mezvinsky, who operates a $400 million hedge fund?

For that matter, how did Clinton’s daughter, Chelsea – who worked for a consulting firm and a hedge fund despite having no background in finance – reportedly become worth an estimated $15 million?

Hillary Clinton recently proposed a new $350 billion government plan to make college more affordable. Certainly, universities spike tuition costs, and student-loan debt has surpassed $1 trillion. Colleges spend money indiscriminately, mostly because they know that the federal government will always back student loans.

Yet, since she left office, Clinton routinely has charged universities $200,000 or more for her brief 30-minute chats. Her half-hour fee is roughly equal to the annual public-university tuition cost for eight students.

It’s been said that Clinton is trying to rekindle President Obama’s 2012 allegations of a Republican “war on women”. That charge and the war against the “1 percent” helped deliver key states to Obama. Renewing that theme, Clinton recently declared on Twitter, “Every survivor of sexual assault deserves to be heard, believed, and supported.”

Does Clinton’s spirited advocacy of “every” survivor include the array of women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct? In other words, does Hillary now trust the testimonies of survivors such as Juanita Broaddrick, Kathleen Willey and Paula Jones, whose allegations must be “believed and supported”?

Ms. Clinton has also called for more financial transparency and greater accountability in general – something needed after scandals at government agencies such as the IRS, VA and GSA. But Clinton’s use of a private email server probably violated several federal laws. Her laxity with confidential communications was arguably more egregious than that of Gen. David Petraeus, a national icon who pleaded guilty to mishandling classified materials.

Perhaps Clinton assumes that the electorate is still in the ethical world of the 1990s. Back then, it was somewhat easier to dampen scandals – at least the ones that didn’t involve sex in the White House. But in the age of social media, 24-hour cable TV, instantaneous blogging and a different public attitude toward political corruption and sexual assault, Hillary Clinton now appears to be caught in the wrong century.

Womanizing and sexual coercion can no longer be so easily dismissed. The financial antics of the Clinton Foundation don’t past muster

Ms. Clinton at times tries to offset scandals by pointing to her record as secretary of state. But few believe that her handling of Russia, Iran, China, Benghazi or Islamic terrorism made the world calmer or America more secure.

There is a brazenness, an audacity, a shameless impudence in her hypocrisy that has no match even among politicians. In this, one would have to look back to medieval Popes to find her equal. 

Yet there are tens of millions of voters who would put enormous power into her hands. For no better reason than that she is a woman. Such people deserve their doom, of course. But what of the rest?

America must not fall into the talons of this hell-hag!

Posted under China, corruption, Diplomacy, Egypt, Ethics, government, Iran, Islam, jihad, Leftism, Libya, middle east, Muslims, Nigeria, Russia, tyranny, United States by Jillian Becker on Thursday, January 21, 2016

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Hillary Clinton: ready for the big house? 4

Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal more and more, and worse and worse, about her disregard for the security of the nation she was supposed to be serving.

From GOPUSA, by Guy Benson:

If this early January development was a bombshell, today’s revelation is a nuclear bombshell. Hillary Clinton’s improper, unsecure email server appears to have endangered national security even more than previously thought – and her excuses continue to melt away under intensifying scrutiny. [These are the] extremely serious findings from the intelligence community’s Inspector General … :

Hillary Clinton’s emails on her unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs, according to an unclassified letter from a top inspector general to senior lawmakers. Fox News exclusively obtained the text of the unclassified letter, sent Jan. 14 from Intelligence Community Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III. It laid out the findings of a recent comprehensive review by intelligence agencies that identified “several dozen” additional classified emails — including specific intelligence known as “special access programs” (SAP). …

Intelligence from a “special access program,” or SAP, is even more sensitive than that designated as “top secret” – as were two emails identified last summer in a random sample pulled from Clinton’s private server she used as secretary of state. Access to a SAP is restricted to those with a “need-to-know” because exposure of the intelligence would likely reveal the source, putting a method of intelligence collection – or a human asset – at risk.

Currently, some 1,340 emails designated “classified” have been found on Clinton’s server, though the Democratic presidential candidate insists the information was not classified at the time. “There is absolutely no way that one could not recognize SAP material,” a former senior law enforcement with decades of experience investigating violations of SAP procedures told Fox News. “It is the most sensitive of the sensitive.”

Hillary’s campaign unsuccessfully attempted to dispute the IG’s previous determination that her woefully under-secure bootleg server contained intelligence deemed “top secret”; this is even worse.  Her already-dubious and legally-irrelevant “marked classified” excuse suffers another crushing blow. More:

The [SAP] programs are created when “the vulnerability of, or threat to, specific information is exceptional,” and “the number of persons who ordinarily will have access will be reasonably small and commensurate with the objective of providing enhanced protection for the information involved,” it states. According to court documents, former CIA Director David Petraeus was prosecuted for sharing intelligence from special access programs with his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell. At the heart of his prosecution was a non-disclosure agreement where Petraeus agreed to protect these closely held government programs, with the understanding “unauthorized disclosure, unauthorized retention or negligent handling … could cause irreparable injury to the United States or be used to advantage by a foreign nation.” Clinton signed an identical non-disclosure agreement Jan. 22, 2009.

She sure did.

And it includes this line:

As used in the Agreement [which she signed], classified information is marked or unmarked classified information. 

No wonder officials inside the FBI are reportedly champing at the bit for an indictment.  Her conduct makes Petraeus’ criminal but limited indiscretions look like child’s play. In case you’d forgotten, Mrs. Clinton insisted last year that no classified material whatsoever had passed through her private server.  That lie, one of several, has now been disproven more than 1,300 times, and today’s news marks another devastating disclosure.  America’s top diplomat trafficked in the most sensitive US intelligence secrets that exist via her private server, which she’d been explicitly and urgently warned was uniquely vulnerable to foreign penetration.  This isn’t about breaking some arcane rules or fudging some statements to deflect a political headache.  This is about high-level state secrets being willfully and recklessly compromised by a powerful cabinet secretary in a hair-brained scheme to protect her political ambitions.  And yes, it was willful.  Her inner circle knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that her email arrangement was a serious problem.

As Americans wonder whether the politicized Obama Justice Department will move forward with charges against Mrs. Clinton, one wonders whether she may come to regret uttering these words:

There should be … no individual too big to jail.

They were uttered by her in the last debate among Democratic candidates for the presidency.

One of the slogans of her campaign is: “Ready for Hillary?”

Hillary herself believes she has been ready for the White House ever since she lived in it as First Lady, and perhaps since long before that.

But it is another big house she would be advised to get ready for now. The jailhouse.

Posted under Diplomacy, Ethics, United States by Jillian Becker on Wednesday, January 20, 2016

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